A dedicated NHS worker was left mortified after receiving an anonymous note from a neighbour saying her home was a ‘disgrace’.
The mental health nurse, who has been working 50-hour weeks during the pandemic, found the message tucked in a newsletter posted through the door of her bungalow in Broadstone, Poole, Dorset, last Friday.
The anonymous, handwritten note read in block capitals: ‘Your garden and curtains are a disgrace. This is not Turlin Moor,’ referring to a council estate three miles away.
The 34-year-old nurse and her ambulance driver husband, who works seven-day weeks, relocated from London to the upmarket suburb of Broadstone a year ago.
The nurse, who has a one-year-old child, said their bungalow is the only property on the street that hasn’t been ‘developed’ but that they are waiting for planning permission before starting their work.
The average property price on the road is £640,000. It backs on to exclusive Broadstone Golf Club where membership of £1,700 a year.
The mental health worker from Poole, Dorset, who has note been named, spotted the hand-written letter tucked in a local newsletter that had been left ‘hanging out of her post box’
The nurse took to social media to share the note and slam the anonymous author.
She wrote: ‘Well this was nice to come home to, looks like trolling isn’t just digital…
‘I’m sorry the net curtain and my baby’s blackout blind are not up to your standards, that’s the downside of being a full time nurse in the NHS, having a 1yr old and a husband currently working 7 days a week.
‘So easy for some people to make judgement when they have no context. To the mysterious note dropper, feel free to come and cut my lawn or give us a hand with the renovation you troll.’
The mother later said it felt like being ‘bullied in your own home’ which is the ‘one place that should be safe’.
She added: ‘I don’t really share things online, but I felt that it was really unacceptable and people in the area should know about it.
The recipient took to Facebook to share a photo of the note and slammed the ‘troll’ on social media. She later explained that her bungalow (pictured) is the only property on the street that hasn’t been ‘developed’ but that they are waiting for planning permission to start renovations
‘My partner and I have been working so much over the past year. I have been working nine or ten hour shifts five days a week, and they are not a nice nine hours as I’m dressed up in full PPE with a face mask and apron.
‘So, to come home to something like this was really upsetting. We have taken on an old house on the street, and it is one of the only ones that isn’t developed.
‘We are waiting for planning permission to start some renovations on it, but we are kind of stuck in limbo at the moment. We have got a very small bungalow and a young growing family. For us, this is our forever home. We really love the area, and we want to stay here.
‘You never know what is going on for other people and you do not know when you are going to push someone over the edge.’
The road where they live is in one of the wealthier parts of Broadstone where the average price for property is £640,000. It also backs on to exclusive Broadstone Golf Club where membership of £1,700 a year.
Since the nurse posted about the note on social media she has been inundated with messages of support and offers to mow her lawn and weed her garden for free.
She added: ‘The reaction I have received is really reassuring. Whoever put that note through my door is in the minority because there are clearly lots of lovely, caring people in the area. En masse, it seems that many people are community focused and supportive.’
The nurse continued: ‘My initial reaction (to the note) was to be very upset. I felt upset that it was assumed I was just neglecting my home. I felt unnecessarily judged and bullied for not mowing my front lawn in good time.
‘Anyone that feels it appropriate to behave in this way is a cowardly bully, so it did not surprise me their name wasn’t on the note. I was angry that someone would offend a whole community of people that live in Turlin Moor.
‘I work hard, as do a lot of other people, and it doesn’t matter who you work for, or if you work at all, no one should be subjected to bullying. The local residents within the Broadstone community have been so lovely and supportive with their kind words.
‘I don’t want sympathy and I didn’t post this to get anything from anyone, I just don’t want someone to think this is an acceptable way to behave and subject others to this treatment.’
The woman and her partner bought the bungalow home last November for over £500,000.
A view of the road reveals many of the properties have been renovated or modernised. The homeowner says she has plans to do the same but hasn’t been able to yet
Local councillor Vikki Slade said she was ‘absolutely disgusted’ by the ‘appalling and cowardly’ letter which she described as a form of bullying.
She said: ‘I can confirm that this was not delivered by a member of the neighbour watch. The person put the message inside their own neighbour watch leaflet and posted it to her house.
‘It is appalling that someone should feel compelled to write a comment about the appearance of someone’s home in this way. I was so upset for her.
‘Not only to write this anonymous letter in capital letters, but to associate it with a community group that is set up to bring the community together and make residents feel safer. It is just such a cowardly thing to do.’
Another neighbour said: ‘The note is just plain nastiness but that is what this area is like. It’s quite cliquey with curtain twitchers who are about keeping up appearances and competing with neighbours. I think it’s the age that we live in and it’s only getting worse.
‘People are so out of touch with everyone else and they don’t care how they make them feel. Because of the pandemic people have gotten used to the idea of self policing.
‘That’s what this is – it’s neighbours policing neighbours. What authority do they think they have to leave a note? They’re lovely people and they have a small child. They work hard and don’t have time to clean the garden. What’s it got to do with anyone else?’
The neighbour said he grew up on Turlin Moor, a council estate three miles away in the Hamworthy area of Poole.
He added: ‘I lived there for 15 years. The people there are much nicer than they are here. They take pride in their homes and they’re friendly. This sort of thing would never happen there. I think it’s absolutely horrible.’